Ad description

An in-app ad for the mobile game Whispers: Interactive Romance Stories, seen on 30 October 2023 in the mobile game app Virtual Families 3. The ad featured an animated scene of a blindfolded woman kneeling on the floor while a man standing in front of her held her face in his hand. A speech bubble appeared which was labelled “Niece”. She said to him, “Uncle, please punish me.” On-screen text then appeared which stated “20 years ago”. The scene cut to the woman as a young child at a funfair. She said, “Uncle, this place is so fun!” He held out his arms, lifted her into the air and nuzzled into her cheek. She said to him, “Uncle, I will marry you when I grow up!” The ad then returned to the opening scene with the woman blindfolded in a kneeling position and her statement, “Uncle, please punish me.” Two buttons appeared: “Accept” and “Reject”. An animated finger reached out from the bottom of the screen as though it was going to press the “Accept” button and then did the same thing with the “Reject” button.


The complainant who challenged whether, by featuring a potentially incestuous relationship between an uncle and his niece, the ad was offensive and irresponsible.


Gamehaus Network Technology Co Ltd did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.Last Day of Work LLC, publishers of the Virtual Families 3 app in which the ad was seen, said they would ensure the ad and any similar content from the advertiser would not appear in their games in future.



The ASA was concerned by Gamehaus Network Technology Co Ltd's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

The ad appeared in the Virtual Families 3 mobile game, which had a PEGI 3 rating meaning it was suitable for people of all ages, including children.

It highlighted the relationship between an uncle and his niece. In the first and last scenes, she was portrayed as an adult and was blindfolded in a kneeling position. She said, “Uncle, please punish me.” We considered that consumers would be likely to understand from her blindfolded, kneeling stance and her request to be punished that she appeared willing to engage in sado-masochistic, sexual behaviour with her uncle. We further considered that the flashback to the funfair scene when she was a child and her statement that she would marry her uncle when she was grown up, added to the impression of them having an incestuous relationship and had overtones of a child being viewed as a sexual object and groomed by an adult relative. We concluded that the ad had the effect of portraying a child in a sexual way.

Because the ad featured scenes depicting an incestuous relationship between an uncle and his niece, and suggested that a child had been sexualised and groomed by an adult, we concluded it was likely to cause serious and widespread offence in any medium in which it appeared, and portrayed a child in a sexual way and was therefore irresponsible.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising), 4.1 and 4.8 (Harm and offence).


The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Gamehaus Network Technology Co Ltd to ensure future ads were prepared responsibly and did not cause serious or widespread offence, including by featuring incest, depicting a child as a sexual object or being groomed by an adult. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance team.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

1.3     1.7     4.1     4.8    

More on